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Zoladex ®Generic Name: Goserelin
Drug Type: Zoladex is a hormone therapy. It is classified as an "LHRH agonist." (For more detail, see "How Zoladex Works" section below).
What Zoladex Is Used For:
Note: If a drug has been approved for one use, physicians may elect to use this same drug for other problems if they believe it may be helpful.
How Zoladex Is Given:
Side Effects of Zoladex:
Important things to remember about the side effects of Zoladex:
The following side effects are common (occurring in greater than 30%) for patients taking Zoladex:
These side effects are less common side effects (occurring in about 10-29%) of patients receiving Zoladex:
Zoladex may cause short-term (within first 2 weeks of treatment) increases in testosterone serum levels. When this is used for prostate cancer the resulting "tumor flare" can cause temporary increase of bone pain, swelling of the prostate that blocks urine flow or swelling around tumor in the spine causing compression of the spinal cord. If you are noticing increased weakness, numbness or tingling in arms or legs, or difficulty with urination, report these symptoms to your health care provider immediately.
Rare but significant side effects may include heart problems such as arrhythmias, congestive heart failure or heart attack (<5%).
Not all side effects are listed above. Some that are rare (occurring in less than 10% of patients) are not listed here. However, you should always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.
When To Contact Your Doctor or Health Care Provider:
Contact your health care provider immediately, day or night, if you should experience any of the following symptoms:
The following symptoms require medical attention, but are not an emergency. Contact your health care provider within 24 hours of noticing any of the following:
Always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.
Precautions: Before starting Zoladex treatment, make sure you tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking (including prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins, herbal remedies, etc.). Do not take aspirin, products containing aspirin unless your doctor specifically permits this.
Zoladex Self Care Tips:
Monitoring and Testing While Taking Zoladex:
You will be checked regularly by your health care professional while you are taking Zoladex, to monitor side effects and check your response to therapy. Periodic blood work to monitor your complete blood count (CBC) as well as the function of other organs (such as your kidneys and liver) may also be ordered by your doctor.
How Zoladex Works:
Hormones are chemical substances that are produced by glands in the body, which enter the bloodstream and cause effects in other tissues.
For example, the hormone testosterone, made in the testicles and is responsible for male characteristics such as deepening voice and increased body hair. The use of hormone therapy to treat cancer is based on the observation that receptors for specific hormones that are needed for cell growth are on the surface of some tumor cells. Hormone therapy can work by stopping the production of a certain hormone, blocking hormone receptors, or substituting chemically similar agents for the active hormone, which cannot be used by the tumor cell. Different types of hormone therapies are categorized by their function and/or the type of hormone that is affected.
Zoladex is classified as a leutinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) agonist.
LHRH agonists work by telling the pituitary gland located in the brain to stop producing leutinizing hormone, which (in men) stimulates the testicles to release testosterone and (in women) stimulates the ovaries to release estrogen. The drug does not have a direct effect on the cancer, only on the testicles or ovaries. The resulting lack of testosterone (in men) and estrogen (in women) interferes with stimulating cell growth in testosterone or estrogen dependent cancer cells.
In treatment of prostate cancer LHRH agonists are often used together with anti-androgen medications. Anti-androgens are substances that block the effects of testosterone. Cancer of the prostate depends on the male hormone testosterone for its growth. If the amount of testosterone is reduced it is possible to slow down or shrink the cancer.
Note: We strongly encourage you to talk with your health care professional about your specific medical condition and treatments. The information contained in this website is meant to be helpful and educational, but is not a substitute for medical advice.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 21 January 2010 10:04|